Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Elephants

I just found this video on You Tube. The Elephant Sanctuary has put up several other little vignettes featuring their “girls” on You Tube. What a good idea

Years ago I saw the program, Urban Elephants, on PBS. I cried and cried. The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee was shown in a scene about the reunion of two abused circus elephants. I was so moved and I looked up their website. I decided to contribute in a small way to their efforts to take care of old, sick, and tired elephants.

I designed a quilt pattern called Elephants Around and pledged to contribute 25-cents to the Elephant Sanctuary for every pattern sold. We’ve done pretty well over the years.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Step One, Step Two – Ooops

We were all set to get going on our remodeling project. We had a CONTEST for a redesign of my quilting/office space and Jean came up with a winning design. All was good to go.

Step 1. We picked out some nice bamboo flooring at Home Depot.

Step 2. The new flooring was to be installed in the triangle room over the plywood floor.

But, then the rains came and we had a leak, a big leak in the room.

We called in our favorite neighborhood roofing contractor, Bob Stone Roofing. Bob went up on the roof.

Yes, it is time to get a new roof. It’s been 25 years and that’s a good life span for a tar and gravel roof. We’ve never had a major leak. Bob’s bid is $6,000. Reasonable, I think.

Now, Step 1 is a new roof.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

God, in Her Infinite Wisdom …

... has arranged 35 minutes of clear weather (except for one day) every day since February 2, 2007 just so I can do my walking program. Darn Her. I can’t find an excuse to skip it. Today the rain held off for the required time but now it is pouring.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Make My Day

Sophie gave me this award. I am so flattered. I'm passing it on to Collage Mama. I just love her stuff. There are never any comments on her blog and I wonder why.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Photo Shoot – Quilt Related

I am planning a quilt. The quilt will have bas-relief (trapunto) quilting lines of human figures.
If you don’t have a ready source for professional models, you use what you have around the house.

Man and woman.
Quilt stand.
Camera with timer.
Masking tape to affix camera to the top of the quilt stand.
Sheet on the floor under the quilt stand.
Agile person to stand up on a chair and set the camera timer, move the chair out of the way and stretch out on the sheet next to the other person in 10 seconds.

It was an interesting afternoon.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It’s All About Color

All of these beautiful colors came from mushrooms. Students from all over the world gathered at 13th International Fungi & Fibre Symposium and exchanged samples of the yarn they dyed last week at the Mendocino Art Center, California. (Click on the highlighted text for more information about the Symposium.)

Beautiful silk scarves dyed with mushrooms were on display. These lovely ones were created by Julie Schleuder. Some of them looked like resist dyeing to me.

The pink is from Cortinarius Semisanguineus, the lavender from Hapalopilus Nidulans, the brown from Phaeolus Schweinitzii, and the gray from Hydnellum Peckii. (You will have to excuse my shaky spelling of these names, I am not a mycologist.)
This cute knitted hat was made by Marilyn Caddell from Scotland. The artist noted that the purple yarn was dyed with Hapalopilus Nidulans with alum mordant. Don’t you love the little mushrooms marching around the band?
There was a class busy making felted bowls from wool roving blended with mushroom dyed roving. The class was working very hard when I stopped by and the results were intriguing.
Here is a cute troll guarding some mushrooms.
The mushrooms were made by felting and so was the troll.

If you expected mushrooms to produce only browns, beiges, and earth tones, the displays showed the wide range of colors extracted from fungi. This striped weaving gives an idea of the range.

A beautiful afghan made with mushroom dyed yarn was presented to the founder of the mushrooms for color movement, Miriam C. Rice, at the banquet Friday night.
It was also a celebration of Miriam’s 90th birthday.

Miriam’s granddaughter, on the left, is a videographer. She covered the Symposium and interviewed participants.
Dorothy Beebee, illustrator extraordinaire, has been exploring mushroom dyes with Miriam since 1974. She illustrated Miriam’s newest book, Mushrooms for Dyes, Paper, Pigments & Myco-Stix™. The book was just published in December by Mushrooms for Color Press, Forestville, CA 95436. (Click on the highlighted text for purchase information.)
Once upon a time, long, long ago Miriam Rice dropped a skein of mordanted yarn into a cooking pot of mushrooms she was going to throw out. She pulled out the skein and saw it had turned an outstanding, bright yellow. She experimented with all sorts of mushrooms for a couple of years and found a new world of color.

Someone told Miriam about a little fiber art book publisher called Thresh Publications in Santa Rosa, CA. Miriam’s colorful yarns made their way to the little publisher and she was told to go home and write a book. She did.

Robert and I thought there might be some interest in this new branch of natural dyeing. We knew an illustrator, Dorothy Beebee, so we asked her to draw ONE mushroom for the cover of a little book called Let’s Try Mushrooms for Color. In 1974 that little book was published.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Morning Visitor

This handsome fellow greeted us on the deck this morning. He waited patiently for me to go back inside to get my camera and stood still until I came out again. I snapped a picture and thanked him. He seemed to be waiting for something (his model fee?). Robert brought him a small piece of a chocolate chip cookie. Mr. Gull took it right out of Robert’s hand, then flew away.

We stayed at Little River Inn (just below Mendocino) while we attended the 13th International Fungi & Fibre Symposium at the Mendocino Art Center, January 7 -- 11, 2008. It was fantastic.

I took my walk down a path to nearby beach, but it was hard walking back up the path.

I took quite a few good pictures, but I don’t have a photo editing program in this laptop. So my pictures and descriptions will have to wait until I am back on my “main machine” at home.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Where Am I?

More later.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Lots Of Work Going On

The work is going on in other people’s houses, not mine. I can’t wait to get started on my remodeling project. I am so inspired by the accomplishments of others.

Just today I checked Terry’s blog and saw her beautiful new tile floor going in:
And, then I went to Vicky’s blog and found that she is busy remodeling too. She is creating a sun room.
I look at Teresa’s blog every day to check the progress of the house she is building. I’ve been watching from start to “almost finished.”
All I have here is Christine’s mess. I’ll be refining my sewing studio/office plans this weekend and then I’m going to do some serious shopping Monday. (See yesterday’s post about my Contest winner.)
You can click on all of the pictures above to learn what’s going on in more detail.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Contest Winner

Jean De Savage won my Contest. Thanks Jean!

Jean is an art quilter from Michigan. It takes a quilter to know a quilter. Jean's blog is Jean's Artful Spirit.

I'll soon be posting before, during, and after pictures.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Our Daily Bread

Robert makes bread almost every day. I’ve read about “No Knead Bread” on other blogs, but his bread does require kneading in a mixer. It only takes an hour or so to make. It is soooo delicious. He says it is easy. He is a good cook and I periodically persuade him to write down his recipes and then I put them on his Robert Cooks webpage. Click on the link for his other treats.
Here is his bread recipe:
Ingredients: 4 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon shortening (Crisco)
1 tablespoon sugar (food for yeast)
½ tablespoon salt for flavor
Scant tablespoon rapid rise yeast (use Bakipan® for good flavor and good price)
1 ¼ cups hot water (plus or minus depending on the weather)

Modification by Christine (4/17/2011) Use only one (1) cup of hot water, plus ¼ cup of milk. After you mix the dry ingredients with the Crisco, add ¼ cup of milk and stir. Then add the cup of hot water before kneading.
Mix dry ingredients with Crisco in a large bowl Add hot water and mix thoroughly Knead for 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic (He uses his Kitchen Aid mixer with its dough hook, but he used to use his hands and arms and back) Cover the bowl and let it relax for a short while Grease bread pan Shape a loaf, kneading and pulling the relaxed dough Put the loaf shape in the bread pan, cover and let it rise until double in bulk. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F Use a knife to split the top of the loaf into a nice design Butter lightly Put loaf pan in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F and bake for 35 minutes

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

In the Dark

It was a big storm. We depend on electricity and take it for granted. Not much accomplished yesterday because the power was out all day and night. We were toasty warm with three quilts on the bed last night.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Men at Work

I really enjoy seeing men at work.
Robert cleaned out the gutters today. The front gutter was easy, but then he had to climb way up on the roof to clean out the rain-chain pipes. (I don’t watch when he goes up high.) We are expecting big storms starting Thursday night. Well, bring ‘em on, the house is ready.
Juan Caballero from Delta Computer Troubleshooters (our IT man) came to make our house wireless. It is so neat. I’m upstairs now posting my blog stuff and Robert is downstairs on his new laptop picking up his mail.

And, thanks to Davis too -- he is working.

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